Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the London VMware User Group (VMUG). I’ve been unable to attend the past few due to work commitments but yesterdays theme of “Your Journey to the Cloud” couldn’t have come at a better time as we’re currently looking at VMware’s vCloud Director product and a number of the sessions and talk were centred around this product.
The day started at 10am due to the number of presentations they were able to get in and the labs that people were able to take. The labs were a first and ran two different paths. The two labs and layout were described on the VMUG page as:
The VMUG are providing VMware vCloud Director Labs for all UG members to get a look and feel for the product. COLT has very kindly agreed to host the labs on their infrastructure in the Cloud. COLT are a certified VMware vCloud Datacenter Services Provider and the first in EMEA to provide this service. The COLT team along with VMware vCloud Architects have provided two types of labs to provide the best experience possible.
Lab A – Consuming Cloud resources from VMware vCloud Director
This lab is tailored to provide a user’s view of consuming compute resource from the cloud. It provides an insight into the ability provide resources via a self-service portal deploying virtual machines via vApps within private virtual datacenters.
Lab B – Administrating VMware vCloud Director
This lab provides the administrators view of vCloud Director. The lab contains a virtual center server, vCloud Director server and an ESX host to create compute resources within the cloud. It provides the ability to define different compute services in the form of vApp’s which can then be published within the vCloud Catalogue.
I personally didn’t attend a lab due to my wanting to get a number of my questions around vCloud Director answered and due to my already having done all the vCloud related labs at VMworld Copenhagen and so having already done large portions of the steps within the labs. I did however hear raving reviews of the labs from fellow attendees and when I arrived there was a line of people waiting to register for the labs which shows the interest in the labs.
The day kicked off with the standard welcome from Alaric Davies and Martyn Storey detailing the layout of the day and announcing the UK National VMUG being planned for Warwick for November 3rd .We then got straight into the first presentation from COLT who were presenting and demoing all about their vCloud environment’s implementation and inner workings. Greg Branch, Director of Architecture for Colt and Dan Senior, Virtualisation Architect for Colt did the presentation and demo’s together and I was really impressed with their offering and how they have used the vCloud technologies and products to be the first in EMEA to be a VMware vCloud Datacenter Services Provider.
Next was Paul Martin (@vzpaul) from Quest Software talking about “Private Cloud – Build for Success by Planning for Failure”. Pauls presentation was all about thinking and planning for things before and during the build out of your Private Cloud. Paul did leave me with a number of thoughts and things I need to research prior to us rolling out our own private cloud and how many differing parts of your environment can impact the running of it. Credit to Paul for not doing a marketing pitch for Quest software but rather giving valid points to look out for.
We then had a very quick refreshment break and then Simon Rahilly of EMC (@NoneOneMany) did his presentation all about the cloud and how the varying technologies from EMC from the storage, to backups to disaster recovery and high availability can help you with your journey to the cloud. I personally enjoyed the presentation and it was nice to hear a bit about the release of EMC’s Project Lightning also.
Lunch was then served at the event which was a very nice change as it meant everyone stayed in the rooms and I got to meet loads of people I follow on twitter and got to talk about all the things we’re currently doing in our VMware environments and gain some very helpful tips and tricks.
We were then given the option of two different tracks, each with different speakers and topics. I personally chose track two as I’ve always enjoyed hearing from Stuart Radnidge ( @vinternals ) and was keen to listen to Massimon Re Ferre’s presentation on the same track also. Stuart’s presentation was all about Rethinking Infrastructure and the experiences he has had with deploying a private cloud within his organisation. For anyone that knows Stuart you knew this was going to be a straight talking honest presentation and he didn’t disappoint as he gain some great pointers on how the business will ask for certain things and will expect things from your cloud implementation even though you “aren’t a web start-up”.
Next was Massimo (@mreferre ) who is a VMware vCloud Architect talking about vCloud and giving an overview of all the products in the “vCloud Family” and how each of them work. His presentation was very helpful to me to better understand vCloud Director and most importantly allowed me to ask all the questions I have been needing to ask about vCloud Director. I’m pleased to say Massimo and Martyn answered all my questions
Last in the track was Richard Zuber from VMware Global Support talking about support issues they have been receiving from customers using vCloud Director and the solutions they used to fix the problems. The presentation was a little dull as hearing about support calls and solutions isn’t the most exciting of things but it did show that making sure your networking is correctly administered and deployed for your vCloud implementation is very important in making sure you don’t experience problems and faults.
We were all then released to go to The Pavilion End pub for vBeers and I got to talk shop with fellow VMware Admins and met Julian Wood (@Julian_wood) of http://www.wooditwork.com fame, David Owen (@vMackem) of http://www.vmackem.co.uk fame, Simon Davies (@EV_Simon) of http://www.everything-virtual.com fame,Luke Munro (@mnrmunro) a fellow Saffa and Ed Grigson (@egrigson) of http://www.vExperienced.co.uk fame to name but a few.
It was an amazing day and I would highly recommend anyone thinking of attending to register for the next one on July 14th. Also a special thanks to Jane Rimmer (@Rimmergram) for her hard work on getting this all done and then not being able to attend due to being ill.